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  • The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted all aspects of healthcare, and while the worst may be over, its broader impact on health services, such as cancer diagnosis and treatment, is likely to be profound. We examine, in this paper, how our response to Covid-19 impacted on the recognition, referral, and diagnosis of individuals with lung cancer in primary care. The overlapping nature of symptoms of Covid-19 and lung cancer posed a particular challenge, and lung cancer referrals have been slow to return to pre-pandemic levels. Strategies need to be implemented to ensure the impact of future variants does not derail the precarious recovery we are now witnessing in many countries—it is vital that the gains we have made in earlier diagnosis are not lost. The pandemic has underlined the importance of improving early diagnosis through public awareness raising of symptoms, rapid diagnostic facilities, reduced primary care diagnostic intervals and, potentially, the introduction of screening in high-risk groups.

    • Susanne Sarah Maxwell
    • David Weller
    Comment Open Access
  • As evidence continues to emerge, our understanding of the relationship between smoking and COVID-19 prognosis is steadily growing. An early outlook from World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that smokers are more vulnerable to severe COVID-19 disease and are also more likely to be infected, as frequent motions from hand to mouth and sharing of tobacco products such as waterpipes increased the possibility of being infected. In this commentary, we discuss some of the latest evidence on smoking and COVID-19 and emphasise the need to promote the personal and public advantages of smoking cessation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Jaber S. Alqahtani
    • Abdulelah M. Aldhahir
    • Ahmad S. Almamary
    Comment Open Access
  • A number of recent studies have found low percentages of smokers among COVID-19 patients, causing scientists to conclude that smokers may be protected against SARS-CoV-2 infection. National and international media were interested in this story and we soon began receiving questions about this topic in general practice. In this article, we shed light on the process that resulted in the misinterpretation of observational research by scientists and the media. We also point out the methodological flaws of various studies on which hasty conclusions were based. Finally, we address the role of primary healthcare providers in mitigating the consequences of erroneous claims about a protective effect of smoking.

    • Naomi A. van Westen-Lagerweij
    • Eline Meijer
    • Esther A. Croes
    Comment Open Access
  • COVID-19 is wreaking havoc around the world, which is a serious challenge to all our health systems. China reacted quickly in the early stage of the pandemic, and accumulated a lot of experiences, especially in the prevention and control of COVID-19 at the primary care level. Here, we would like to share how the Chinese Alliance for Respiratory Diseases in Primary Care (CARDPC) played a role in the pandemic, hoping to provide guidance and hope for effective control of the outbreak worldwide, for future public health emergencies and for systematic management of chronic respiratory diseases in the community.

    • Zihan Pan
    • Ting Yang
    • Chen Wang
    Comment Open Access